New Rochelle, NY (July 24, 2013) Approximately two years ago, Iona College discovered student and operating performance-related data had been misreported to certain external government and regulatory agencies. The College immediately adopted a policy of total transparency and responded to this discovery by informing legal counsel, retaining a forensic accounting firm to thoroughly investigate the issue, and notifying each external agency of the misreporting.
Despite those efforts and the positive results they have produced over the last two years, I regret to share that Forbes magazine has decided to exclude the College from its 2013 rankings of America’s Colleges and Universities. It is unfortunate that Forbes has chosen to exclude the College this year based on an issue that occurred two years ago.
Iona’s handling of the situation two years ago received praise from the external agencies to which it self-reported the inaccurate data. In further response to this discovery, Iona created an Institutional Effectiveness and Planning Office, which has been instrumental in instituting new policies and procedures to safeguard the integrity of student data at the College. The plan of correction followed by the College was disclosed on Iona’s website.
Iona has taken responsibility for its actions and extensive corrective measures, all of which the Iona Community should be proud.
The significant steps taken by the College include but are not limited to the following actions:
1) Made changes in administrative staff;
2) Initiated and completed an investigation by external legal and accounting firms;
3) Commenced and completed an audit of all data for the past decade;
4) Self-reported all findings to all external agencies;
5) Established the Integrity in Reporting Committee;
6) Established and staffed the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning; and
7) Voluntarily submitted the College's data to an external audit.
The Department of Education and Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the accrediting body for Iona College, have endorsed these efforts. On our web are excerpts of reports from these organizations, which praise the College and its board of trustees for their rigorous and open approach to resolving this issue. http://www.iona.edu/about/reportcommittee/index.cfm.
In the event that other media sources come forward to review this issue, despite it being in Iona’s past, you can be assured that Iona will respond with the same level of integrity and transparency.
As I have mentioned in the past, the measure of the College, or one’s life for that matter, is not the tally of problems or their severity; rather, it is the method in which we move to correct and resolve such problems and prevent them from recurring in the future. The College has made great advances over the last two years for which the Iona Community should be extremely proud.
For questions or more information please contact:
Dawn M. Insanalli
Media Relations Office
Iona College, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10801
Office: (914) 637-2726
Mobile: (914) 217-4061